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Install libgit2 and pygit2 in a virtualenv

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pygit2 is awesome. pygit2 is hard to install.

Installing this package will try to install matched versions of libgit2 and pygit2 to your activated virtualenv.


  • cmake
  • python-dev


$ virtualenv venv
$ . venv/bin/activate
(venv)$ pip install venvgit2

You can put it in a requirements.txt or whatever, as long as you’re in a virtualenv you’re set with pip or easy_install.


(venv)$ python
>>> import pygit2

Woo hoo if no errors are raised, it is likely that you are set to go!

venvgit2 doesn’t give you anything except a convenient install of matched versions of libgit2 and pygit2. Each project has its own excellent” documentation:


  1. Clone this repository
$ git clone
  1. Grab the submodules
$ git submodule update --init

after the first time, to update submodules it’s just

$ git submodule update

What’s going on

Without venvgit2, you might do this:

$ git clone
$ git clone
$ virtualenv venv
$ . venv/bin/activate
(venv)$ cd libgit2
(venv)$ git checkout v0.20.0
(venv)$ mkdir build && cd build
(venv)$ cmake --build . --target install
(venv)$ cd ../../pygit2
(venv)$ git checkout v0.20.2
(venv)$ export LIBGIT2=$VIRTUAL_ENV
(venv)$ export LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath='$LIBGIT2/lib',--enable-new-dtags"
(venv)$ python build
(venv)$ python install

That should set you up with pygit2 ready to roll in your virtual environment. This command should not fail:

(venv)$ python
>> import pygit2

It was a big headache for me to get pygit2 built and linked correctly, out of a virtualenv. Also, having to clone full git repos and everything is a pain.

venvgit2 ships with all the sources for a matched pair of libgit2 and pygit2 baked in, so you only have to download what you need, and installation is automated in the script. Piece of cake.


Releases of venvgit2 are matched pairs of pygit2, and libgit2. We increment the patch number (major.minor.patch) each time we release a new pair (ie., when either venvgit2 or pygit2 update) or when changes are made to venvgit2 itself. pygit2 has more details for choosing compatible releases, but with venvgit2, pip install... should just work.


venvgit2 is provided to the Public Domain. It really doesn’t do much anyway.

The libraries used by venvgit2 have licenses you should be aware of. They are linked here for quick reference:

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